Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

This three ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe will absolutely change your biscuit-making life. It is one of those essential biscuit recipes that every cook should have available in their recipe box or, better yet, memorize if at all possible.

Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe - This three ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe will absolutely change your biscuit-making life. It is one of those essential biscuit recipes that every cook should have available in their recipe box or, better yet, memorize if at all possible. //


This recipe yields perfect, flaky, and delicious buttermilk biscuits every single time you make them and no one will ever believe you if you tried to tell them how easy they are to make.


Now, while I’m going on and on about how easy they are to make, the ingredients are what really make the magic happen. You will not get the same results if you change the ingredients, in my opinion. So, let’s talk about them for just a sec.

It all begins with the flour.

For my biscuits, I use White Lily® flour. Made of soft winter wheat, White Lily® flour is a fine, silky flour that yields a very soft and tender biscuit. My grandmother swore by White Lily® for her biscuits, pies, cakes and well… everything. I’ll admit there was a time in my life that I thought I knew a whole lot more about things than my mother and grandmother. Let me just cut to the chase. Flour ended up not being one of those things.

Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits | ©

Then, cut in the shortening.

The second ingredient for this magical three ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe is shortening.

Shortening lends moisture and flakiness to these buttermilk biscuits that other ingredients just doesn’t provide. While I love butter as much as the next girl, you just won’t get the same results in these biscuits by replacing the shortening with butter.

You’ll cut your shortening into your flour using a pastry blender, two forks or even two knives until the flour and shortening mixture looks like it is coarse meal.

Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits | ©

And finally, add the buttermilk.

This is the reason these biscuits are named buttermilk biscuits, after all. My Grandmother always taught me to take special care to stir the buttermilk into the flour mixture very gently when making biscuits. Otherwise, if you overmix your biscuit dough, the result will be tough, dry biscuits and not fluffy, light, and delicious biscuits that we all love.

Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits | ©

I then pop my biscuits into a super hot oven, which allows them to quickly rise and turn a beautiful golden brown in just a few minutes.  Just look at those flakey layers! 

Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits | ©

Here’s the Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuit recipe that is definitely one of those essential recipes I turn to time and again.

Yield: 6

Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

Total Time 15 minutes
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Buttermilk Biscuits are an heirloom recipe and this three ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe is a must-have recipe for any cook.
4.8 from 24 votes
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  • 2 cups self-rising flour + more for flouring board and cutter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening + more for greasing pan
  • 3/4 cup buttermik


  1. Preheat oven to 475º F. Lightly coat rimmed baking sheet or cast iron skillet with vegetable shortening. Set aside.
  2. Add flour to a large mixing bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender, two forks, or knives until well-combined. Slowly pour in buttermilk and stir gently until just combined. Do not overmix.
  3. Pour biscuit dough onto a floured pastry cloth, paper towels, or dough board. Gently pat or roll to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut out biscuits using about a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place biscuits into skillet or on baking sheet pan, leaving about an inch between biscuits to allow them to rise and cook fully. Place in preheated oven and bake about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

All images and text © Robyn Stone for Add a Pinch

Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe - This three ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe will absolutely change your biscuit-making life. It is one of those essential biscuit recipes that every cook should have available in their recipe box or, better yet, memorize if at all possible. //

121 comments on “Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe”

  1. Can I use almond or coconut flour since I’m Banting?

  2. Can i used vegetable oil instead vegetable shortining.? Can it work for it?

    • No, it won’t work. Shortening is more of a solid and it’s what creates the flaky layers. if you use vegetable oil all that you’ll get is little hard muffins.

  3. I always use white lily flour; even white lily bread flour for my yeast rolls!

  4. I really wish you would post a picture of what the dough looks like once you have the buttermilk incorporated. If I am not overworking my dough, I am not working it enough. (sigh) How do you mix it in (spoon, fork, spatula, hands, etc)?I so want to make good biscuits.

    • Hi Gabbi,
      I usually use a wooden spoon and mix gently, just until the buttermilk is incorporated. Thanks for the input about additional pictures of that step – I’ll try to add a picture soon. Thanks so much! Enjoy the biscuits! xo

  5. If White Lily flour is not available in your area (usually only sold in stores in the Southern states), order on line from
    3 – 5 lb bags are very reasonable and they pay postage. My comes in just a couple of days UPS. I store mine in my freezer or at least one bag in freezer as the cold flour helps make better biscuits. My daughter lived in Little Rock AR for some time and I was so happy to find this flour on grocery store shelves but in the Midwest it is not common. Now I always have a supply on hand. Be sure to order SELF RISING flour for biscuits. They also produce Lily White without the baking powder etc for other recipes and both are clearly listed. Same price. IT IS JUST THE BEST IF YOU ARE A BAKER!! This is a traditional easy biscuit recipe. They make fresh, hot biscuits for almost every meal!
    During my busiest times of the year, I mix up ANGEL BISCUITS and keep some dough in the refrigerator for almost instant biscuits!
    The dough recipe has yeast in it so ready to go (the baking powder is already in your Lily White flour), light and fluffy biscuits in a very few minutes. Keeps for a week or more, but I use it up in a few days!

  6. The flour used in this recipe already has the rising agent (baking powder/baking soda) added to it. If you use any other flour, like coconut, almond, or all purpose, you have to add the rising agent to the dough.

  7. Is the reason you don’t add salt to the recipe because there is already sodium in the the self-rising flour? Would additional salt be too much? I was taught that salt add to the tenderness of baked goods,so I’m curious..

  8. has anyone tried freezing these prior to baking?

    • I always make biscuits and freeze them and cook 2 or 4 at a time. works well. You must freeze them individually first. Then I put them in a ziploc bag until I am ready to cook them.

  9. I don’t use shortening. Can butter be substituted?

  10. love the simplicity of the recipe. would lard work well in place of shortening?
    thank you

  11. Have made this twice and both of them bombed! First ones tasted good but look bad in the second one’s looked and tasted bad I followed the directions maybe I didn’t makes it enough do I need to brush the top of butter anything what makes them turn brown? I want to try them again but I hate to waste all these ingredients. I know it doesn’t take a lot and it’s trial and error but I keep seeing this 3 ingredient biscuits everywhere and I cannot do it for some reason.

  12. Hi Robyn! After pre-heating the oven do you turn the oven off once the biscuits go in for baking? I did not and my biscuits were scorched! By the way, this is the only one of your recipes that did not work for me; I faithfully turn to your website for all of my baking needs!

    • Hi Cara!
      Oh NO! That’s so frustrating! I don’t turn the oven off after preheating and my biscuits cook about 10 – 12 minutes at that temperature. Were they scorched on the bottom or the top? The reason I ask this is to see if the oven rack might have been positioned a bit too low or too high. Also, are you in an area that would need to make adjustments due to altitude? Hopefully, together, we can crack the code as to what went wrong for you! xo

  13. Thank you Robyn!!! I’ve tried a dozen different biscuit recipes I’ve found on Pinterest, and finally here is one that is easy AND really good! They are so easy and turned out perfect. I did brush extra melted shortening on the top for browning. They turned out a little crispy on the outside and tender and soft on the inside. Perfect!

  14. I use butter Crisco to cut into the flour. You get the benefits of lard but with a butter taste throughout the biscuit.

  15. What changes would I need to make to this recipe at higher altitudes? I’m originally from Alabama and live in Colorado and this is exactly how my grandma made biscuits, except she pinched the dough and rolled it by hand. Anyways, I miss biscuits. No one here knows how to make them like rhis.

    • Hi Kim,
      I’m not sure of the adjustments needed as I’ve not baked them at high altitude. I hope you enjoy them! Nothing like some delicious southern biscuits and I’m sure you have great memories of your grandmother’s biscuits! Thanks!

      • Hi Kim,
        In responce to your high altitude concerns, I would check with Colorado’s extension services. You will find them in the phone book or on you telephone information 411.
        If all else fails.any state University. They can at least direct you to someone who can help you. Also just simply Google it on the computer.

      • Thanks so much for adding this helpful information, Cheryl! xo

  16. This recipe brings back fond memories for me of a beloved Aunt! Ga girls here! Anyway my question is in your instructions you say to rise and cook. How long do you let them rise? Thanks for your time!! Renata

    • Hi Renata,
      Glad to hear from another Georgia girl! You just leave the space between the biscuits like I give in the instructions, which will allow the biscuits to rise and be fluffy and delicious after baking. You just prepare them according to the recipe and then bake them.
      I hope you enjoy! Thanks! xo

  17. I’ve made this recipe 4 or 5 times now and they are just like my grandma’s biscuits. I commented earlier with a question about altitude since I live in Colorado. The answer is: no change to the recipe is needed at 4k-5k feet! The only thing I do different is I leave them in the oven for an extra 3 minutes. 12 minutes still left them white on top. That extra time gives them a little more brown. This recipe is perfect otherwise. Thank you so much for sharing it! I’ve missed my grandma’s biscuits. 🙂

  18. Can these be frozen before baking baking or after baking

  19. what is your make ahead biscuit recipe.

  20. These turned out excellent & so tasty!
    Thank you!

  21. I make decent biscuits with butter. I quit eating, as much as possible, hydrogenated oil years ago so solid shortening is out when I cook. The remainder of the recipe is about the same. Like your site though, keep it up!

  22. What ingredients do I add to the recipe if I have white lily all purpose flour?

  23. Awful recipe. They turned out like trash!

    • Hi Nancie,
      I’m so sorry you had a hard time with the recipe. I’ve not had an issue with it, but am so sorry that you did.

  24. So happy I found this recipe! My mother-in-law used to make the best homemade biscuits, but never went by a recipe. She now has Alzheimer’s & cannot begin to tell us how she made. I remember watching her years ago & I know this is pretty close to the way she made them. I’ve attempted twice now & they have turned out pretty well except they are little more crumbly.
    What should I do to correct that? Thanks for sharing so that we can pass this down to next generation!

    • I’m so glad that you found a recipe close to the one that your mother-in-law made! I’m so sorry about her Alzheimers. I’ll be thinking of her!

      If your biscuits seem to come out more crumbly than they should, you may want to add a little bit more buttermilk to the dough. The other reason they could be more crumbly is that you may want to use less flour when you are rolling out your biscuit dough. To test if that is the issue or not, you could make this biscuit recipe and then make them as drop biscuits. Just scoop the dough rather than rolling out and cutting and drop onto a sheet pan and bake as directed. I hope that helps! xo

  25. I made two batches of these with regular store-brand self-rising flour, bacon grease and creme fraiche that was a little runny, and added chopped chives and minced garlic. I realize it may sound off but they turned out fabulous! They were served alongside pot-roast and potato gratin for our family gathering and everyone ate them up in no time flat. I do not keep shortening or buttermilk, but keep strained bacon-drippings in the fridge for a rainy day, and make my own creme fraiche. It keeps for a couple weeks then breaks down, a bit like buttermilk in taste and consistency, so I thought to give it a go. Very glad I did! Thank you for the recipe!

  26. How can they rise without using baking powder?

  27. How many should this recipe make? I’m cooking for the men in our church should I double the recipe?

    • I’m not sure how many men you are cooking for, but I make this recipe for my family for a breakfast or meal. So you may want to make more than one recipe. You will probably find it easier to mix up one batch at a time though. Enjoy them! Thanks!

  28. The 3 ingredient biscuits would be greatly improved with a little salt and baking powder! Or perhaps baking soda in the buttermilk. ????

  29.  Was just wondering after you mix the ingredients and cook the biscuits out could you freeze them for later use 

  30. I’ve heard about your recipes and tried it this morning for the first time. Unfortunately, they didn’t turn out all that great. I started reading the comments to see if I could get a clue to my bad results. I realized that I bought the wrong White Lily. I used the White Lily all purpose flour. The biscuits turned out flat and dense.
    Is there an adjustment to the ingredients I can add [baking powder] to get better results?

    • Hi Steve,
      I’m sorry they didn’t turn out the first time, but the wrong type of flour surely caused them to be flat. If you don’t have Self Rising Flour as called for in the recipe, then you can use my recipe for How to Make Self Rising Flour from the all purpose flour that you have.
      Hope you enjoy the biscuits! 🙂

  31. Turn out great. Didn’t have self raising flour so I had a few more ingredients.

  32. can i substitute shortening with butter? im in london and shortening needs to be bought from amazon plus is pricey. thanks

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